Twitter is now outperforming Facebook as the fastest-growing social network, according to the latest report from the Global Web Index. It revealed that the microblogging site grew by 40% in the second half of 2012 and by a mind-boggling 715% since July 2009, reaching 288 million monthly active users.

These figures suggest that nearly a quarter of all online users are active Twitter users on a monthly basis. The platform has also raised its engagement rates, as the report found that 59% of all accounts on Twitter use it at least once every 30 days.

By comparison, in 2012 Facebook grew by 33.4%, with many of the new users coming from emerging markets. Over the past year, data has been showing that Facebook is reaching a point of saturation in developed markets. However, the social media giant can be confident about its leading position in the market, with its almost one billion accounts and an estimated 693 million active users.

Meanwhile, Google+ grew 27.7% to 343 million active monthly users, a figure that puts it firmly into second place. To make things even better for Google, YouTube, which has only recently started to be seen as a social network, makes it to the third position, with about 300 million monthly active users, the Global Web Index revealed. According to the International Business Times, Google+ and YouTube benefit from each other´s active user base since both are deeply integrated into one another.

Ben Hollom

February 4, 2013